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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 25.01.2021, 05:44

Vinkele notes insufficient control of existing Covid-19 restrictions and support to people

BC, Riga , 30.11.2020.Print version
Compliance with the existing Covid-19 restrictions is being poorly controlled and support mechanisms for people who have lost their income due to the pandemic are insufficient, Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (For Development/For) said on Latvian Radio, cites LETA.

At the same time, the minister indicated that she sees the necessity for even harsher restrictions and an extension of the state of emergency in Latvia.

Commenting on Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins' (New Unity) address to the public on Sunday evening, Vinkele said that the need to extend the state of emergency was discussed already a week ago amid worsening epidemiological data. The state of emergency should be extended by at least two weeks to feel an effect from the measure.

If the situation does not stabilize, harsher restrictions will be necessary in all territory of Latvia, Vinkele said, adding that this is a scenario in sight.

Asked to specify what new measures might follow in the near future, Vinkele said that it is necessary to look at compliance with the existing restrictions. She said that on last week's Black Friday, retailers did not provide sufficient distancing space for shoppers and there was no control either. Also, various beauty care services, which are forbidden during the state of emergency, are being freely advertised on social networks. 

"I would like to stress that when left without supervision, the measures are not serving their purpose," Vinkele said. As they decided on stricter measures, the responsible ministries have to demonstrate readiness to ensure sufficient control and inform the public about these control measures.

"Already since summer I have been telling my colleagues in the government every week that the restrictions must come with compensatory mechanisms. People cannot subsist on the air. There must be clarity as to how their loss of income will be compensated," Vinkele said, adding that otherwise people will be working illegally. 

Vinkele admitted that negotiations about support mechanisms are difficult, because this "feeling of the fiscal discipline framework, that the money has to be saved, is still very much alive". The Economics Ministry has to propose support mechanisms, Vinkele said, adding that last week the government debated these measures for more than five hours.

As reported, to fight against Covid-19 more effectively, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) will urge ministers to extend the state of emergency and step up restrictions.


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